Editor's foreword: "Looking China" International Youth Film Project is co-organized by the Academy for International Communication of Chinese Culture (AICCC), Beijing Normal University and Huilin Foundation, which aims to showcase the contrasting simplicity and glamour, the antiquity and fashion of China through unique perspectives of young foreign film makers.
As of the year 2016, 101 students from 25 countries were invited to participate in the project. They were stationed in 13 municipality, provinces and autonomous regions here in China. Every filmmaker has worked out a 10-minute short film about Chinese culture around the topic of “ethnic minority”.
The film, Portraits for You, directed by Pedro Nishi, puts a focus on a family living in an isolated village in the mountains of the Xinjiang Autonomous region in northwest China.
The family hails from the ethnic Xibe tribe, with their own language, culture and traditions. They live in Qapqal County, the only Xibe autonomous county in China, which is also a habitat for other ethnic minority groups, including the Uighurs, Kazakhs, etc.
The county take tremendous pride in welcoming residents with different ethnic nationalities backgrounds. The local elementary school teaches different languages, including Chinese and Xibe.
The ancient Xibe Tribe was believed to have originated from northeast China, mainly in today’s Liaoning Province. The ancient Kingdom of Xibe lasted for more than 400 years beginning from the 12th century.
But the Xibes in Qapqal County arrived here over 200 years ago when more than 4000 of them were designated to strengthen the northwest defence for the Emperor of the Qing Dynasty.
They remain a community that clings steadfast to its rich history. The little girl featured, He Junting, a grade one student in a local primary school, loves to dance to traditional Xibe music.
She appears to be a diligent student at school, while she’s determined to promote her Xibe heritage. Her grandmother at home is fluent in Xibe and teaches her grandchildren the language.
The Xibe people love to sing folk songs that have a positive message and glorify its culture. The grandmother is the head of the household and wants the family to never forget their heritage.
So should the same be said for all people. We need to take pride in our blood, countries we were born in and our ancestors and their histories.
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